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New guidelines issued in Goa to keep a check on COVID cases & pollution ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi

Corporation of the City of Panjim advises against the sale of firecrackers ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Goa

The Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) on Monday, issued fresh guidelines ahead of the widespread celebrations of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Goa. These norms have been designed to break the chain of COVID-19 spread, with special attention towards controlling pollution. Reportedly, the order will be imposed with strictness here, where defaulters may have to pay hefty fines for breaking protocols. Read along to know about the prescribed guidelines:

Guidelines for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Goa

The Corporation of the City of Panaji had earlier "strictly prohibited" the sale and purchase of idols made with plaster of paris (POP) due to their hazardous impact on the environment and now, the sale of firecrackers has met a similar fate. The CCP has advised against the use of firecrackers to limit the rise of air pollution through the Ganeshutsav merriment. As per reports, no special stalls will be set up anywhere in Panjim for the sale of firecrackers and fireworks, except for those permitted by the corporation.

As per the new order, the civic body has permitted only two members from each mandal or family to collect the idol from the chitrashallas. Similarly, no processions will be allowed while bringing the idols to the immersion points. Here also, only two to three people will conduct the visarjan (immersion) ceremony, between 5 PM to 10 PM.

The CCP Mayor has also informed that all flowers and garlands offered to the idols need to be deposited in containers at the immersion site, rather than being disposed of in the water bodies. This, along with the PoP ban will categorically reduce the release of toxins in water bodies.

Celebrations to be held within the ambit of COVID-19 safety

All festival activities, including darshans must be performed in compliance with the COVID-19 safety protocols, read civic norms. Devotees are expected to adhere to pandemic appropriate behaviour to prevent the spread of virus due to callousness and laxity. The CCP Mayor has also urged the people to act responsibly lest another spike of coronavirus cases can hit the state and its hospitals.

The enforcement of listed guidelines will be ensured by the law enforcement officials, the Mayor said, adding that they can also impose a fine on defaulters. The Corporation and the Police Department will discuss the matter to chalk out the details for the same, in a separate meeting soon.

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